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Letter to the Editor: Dysfunctional School Board Cedes Power to Superintendent

Feb 24, 2015 08:09PM ● Published by Steven Jack

Early on in my involvement in this district, I founded the Father’s Forum at Long Beach and served on the Parent Council Committee.  The latter ensured there was a direct connection between the schools and the upper administration.  

Today, PCC no longer exists.  It is not the latest failed communicative parental group in our district, but certainly it is one that affects more schools, outside of other groups that span the district.  

Another example of failed communication is from last summer.  I brought up the issue of boundaries both in public comment and at a SPED Informational Meeting.  

The district stated there were no concrete plans for redrawing boundary lines.  They did this despite this direct quote from the District’s ELL Transition Plan: “It is the District’s intention to carefully review and evaluate a new reboundary structure of all attendance centers during the SY 2014-2015. In an effort to not move ELL students consecutively in two years, we intend to work vigilantly on our Transition Plan so that all students can properly relocate to their home school for 
the SY 2015-2016.”  Those are words from our administration.

In the perfect world, they want us to sit back quietly while some plan unfolds at 
some point.  This includes a five year contract for our Superintendent complete with a financial package that puts him above our other districts in the area as far as compensation.  It also includes a bonus package for upper administration that one of our incumbent board members claims was passed by the Board because, well, that is what the upper administration asked for when allocating funds.  All of these bonuses and extra compensation lack any definitive goal directly related to targets being set regarding communication!

Now, the district fully admits it is going to redraw those lines NEXT year.  When does the district plan a discussion? How does it plan to communicate? The truth? Can we count on a straight answer?

When a Board becomes dysfunctional, power ends up indirectly being ceded to the Superintendent.  It happened on Feb. 9th.  The Board leaned over and asked, “Dr. Wendt, is there one you recommend?” (During the ELL Model Presentation). At that moment, the Board admitted they can’t function, and they can’t handle their responsibilities to make decisions.  Even more alarming, it comes at a time when our communication is broken.  

Who benefits from this situation?  Of course, our Superintendent does.  At the moment our Board becomes so dysfunctional that we let our issues divide, power must be ceded to him. The saddest part? This is supposed to be about kids, not political careers.  

Board Members have stated in public Meet and Greets that communication is NOT broken and they are working on it.  I feel it is broken. There’s a clear choice. In regards to communication, I say to those board members…FIX IT!

And if they won’t, vote for those who will on April 7th.

Jared Ploger, candidate for Oswego School District 308

Today, Opinion

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